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“Lovely hot spring setting in winter” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kurama Onsen

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Kurama Onsen
520 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 601-1111, Japan (Gion Higashiyama/Kita Shirakawa/Kurama/Yase/Ohara)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 194 Kyoto B&B and Inns
Capers Bend
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Lovely hot spring setting in winter”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

I can only review the onsen (hot spring) bath section and I did not stay at the ryokan. Nonetheless, I found the staff of the resort to be very helpful even when I bought my ticket for the bath. The resort is located up the main street from the Kurama train station, with a regular shuttle between the station and the resort. I chose to walk to the resort because Kurama was such a charming village, perhaps even more so in the winter, and although it was uphill it wasn't really that long of a walk. The bath itself is clean, with shower and restroom areas, and has very nice views of the surrounding mountains with (when I was there) snow-covered cedar trees. Although people with tattoos traditionally cannot enter baths like these in Japan, I noticed several male visitors with tattoos while I was there, so I imagine that this rule might not be strictly enforced. The price for visiting the onsen was a bit steep for non-hotel guests (1100 yen at the time), but I stayed for a good 2 hours and felt incredibly refreshed upon exiting the bath.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Gurgaon, India
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We had almost done our shrine visits in Kyoto , though no one can complete all of the temples in the beautiful city of Kyoto and we were in Arashiyama, and decided to experience Japanese Onsen . From TA reviews and also from our hotel concierge, we knew that Kurama would be an excellent choice, and we were not wrong when we took a cab from Arashiyama to Kurama . At just 4000 Y, we were at the resort and opted for open air onsen. It had coin operated tickets and bath towels. Adult ticket was 1100 Y, Child ticket was 700Y, small bath towels were 200Y . It was a relaxing experience to soak in the warm waters with Cedar trees and lust mountain greenery all around. The stone paved path upto the onsen was beautiful. We must have spent an hour there, when we came out and took the courtesy shuttle to Kurama station. The cute wooden station was an experience too, and the small mountain train that took us down to central Kyoto was enchanting experience. There are few seats facing the windows, and it was really nice.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

My husband and I spent 2 nights at Kurama Onsen as a special celebration of our wedding anniversary. It was absolutely wonderful. The service was good beyond my wildest expectations. We took the room with two meals a day and had two incredibly well prepared Kaiseki meals. Breakfast was also amazingly good with many small dishes Japanese style. Everything is spotlessly clean.
Kurama Onsen may have a modern building and modern pools for their bathing, but the food and tradition were totally Japanese. You sleep on a futon on the floor and wear a yukata ( Kimono type robe) while you are there. They also give you Japanese socks that work in thong sandals.
My husband wasn't totally sold on the futon, but we both slept like babies and hope to repeat the experience some day.
The price for an overnight and meals is pretty expensive, but if you can possibly afford it, you will never forget it. It is easy to reach from the Sanjo or JR Station and directions on their website is up to date. We used the website for reservation and got a reservation number. No email was sent confirming the reservations. When I called to be sure they had gotten them no one could speak English. So when we arrived in Japan we had the Tourist Bureau call them and we learned that we did indeed have reservations.
During the day there is a walking path through the Kurama Shrine which is truly fascinating.
In both the the Onsen and the Shrine there is little English spoken, but they speak enough to do a fabulous job of making their guests comfortable and relaxed.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2011 via mobile

Beautiful - The view here is amazing ~ red maple leaves & beautiful weather !

Accessible - Just 2 trains away from Osaka (abt 90mins train)

Lodging & Meals - Nice & clean tatami rooms and awesome food served into ur room ( personalized & friendly service personnel ).

BEST THING - the bathhouse ! Outdoor gives u amazing view & Indoor is very comfy !

Cost - abt 1k SGD for 4 pax (bath, lodging & meals)

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco, CA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2011

This is a VERY special place. We hiked from Kurama to the next village. It was so beautiful. The leaves were changing colors and it was foggy and gorgeous. The baths were a great experience. But if you can spend the night I would. What an amazing experience...the food was great, the service was wonderful. What an experience!!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2010

We were somewhat hesitant to stay at a ryokan as we had heard they are overpriced, often not as clean as major hotels, and difficult to get by if you don't speak some Japanese. However, after arriving at Kurama Onsen just outside of Kyoto, we were happy we decided to take the plunge.

Kurama is a 30 minute train ride through the mountains from Kyoto. The ryokan has a free shuttle bus that meets each train in the small village.

Upon arrival we were given our amenities in the room, and immediately walked up to the outdoor hot baths, which were spotless and offered a brilliant view of the surrounding mountainside. I had three baths during the 24 hours we were at the onsen - that's how good it was! My partner had a bit of trouble with the whole communal nudity thing, but was OK eventually.

The kaseiki dinner, served in the room, was spectacular, with fresh sashimi, silky tofu, grilled local duck and many other delicacies served right before your eyes. After the 14 courses and a bottle of local sake I had a wonderful sleep on the slightly-too-hard beds. But hey, you're in Japan so it won't be the first hard bed you've encountered.

Value wise it was slightly pricey at 35,000 yen for two people (around $400). But when you remember this includes dinner, breakfast, hot springs and accommodation, it's not too bad a deal.

All in all, highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Kurama Onsen

Also Known As:
Kurama Onsen Hotel Kyoto
Kurama Onsen Hotel
Address: 520 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 601-1111, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion Higashiyama/Kita Shirakawa/Kurama/Yase/Ohara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 194 B&Bs / Inns in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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